Study Director

Lead scientific studies or research experiments.
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Quick Stats


Salary Range
$19,000 – $78,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Study Directors do?

Extremely curious and well educated in the sciences, Study Directors take on a role not unlike that of a Movie Director. Leading a team of Scientists and researchers to conduct a study or experiment from start to finish mimics the planning and hurdles of directing a movie. When you’re a Study Director, the Scientists are your Actors and you’re their leader.

Your job title gives it all away: Study Directors direct studies. Studies test the side effects of a new medication, examine how certain chemicals or vapors may affect those who come into contact with them, and evaluate how toxic waste affects the environment, among many other things. Like a science project, a research study must be carefully controlled and conducted to create accurate results. You serve as Project Manager, overseeing all aspects of planning and carrying out your research.

During the study itself, you monitor your workers and check that all protocols are carefully followed. Mixing in another medication with the one being tested would alter the test’s results, and you see to it that this doesn’t happen. When problems do come up, you work to put the study back on schedule.

Your big finale is the final report. Once the results are in, you need to present your findings and support your conclusions. No one will believe that a new medication is dangerous if you don’t have the facts to prove it. Your studies can improve healthcare and save lives.

Should I be a Study Director?

You should have a master's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Ready for a Challenge: You jump into new projects with initiative and drive.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Logical Thinker: You take a step-by-step approach to analyze information and solve problems.

  • Also known as: Survey Operations Director

    How to become a Study Director

    Most Study Directors have a Doctorate or a Master's degree. Start by getting your Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:aaa09o&chl=|||bachelor%27s+%2841%25%29|master%27s+%2848%25%29|doctorate+%2811%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,48
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